An SEC ruling will let investment advisers advertise customer satisfaction ratings based on surveys conducted by DALBAR Inc.
The SEC has a rule going back to 1961 that forbids investment advisers from using client testimonials. But DALBAR has received a ``no action letter'' from the SEC granting the use of its ratings in money management firms' advertisements.
The ratings will be based on quarterly surveys DALBAR will conduct. DALBAR will publish the names of investment advisers that satisfy certain minimum rating guidelines, and it expects money management firms will tout those ratings in their advertisements.
The Worcester (Mass.) City Council unanimously voted to issue pension obligation bonds for the Worcester Retirement System. It could issue more than $200 million in the bonds, almost doubling the system's assets, to $500 million total.
The state legislature has to approve the bond issue, which could occur later this spring. The system likely will add money managers if it issues the bonds.
C.H. Dean & Associates acquired von Schoeler, McBride & Associates Inc., a pension fund administrator. Terms were not disclosed. Dean specializes in creating custom pension plans for small companies, such as physicians groups. Investment management is handled by a subsidiary, Dean Investment Associates.
Fleet Financial Group debuted the Galaxy Strategic Equity Fund, which brings its core institutional equity management strategy to a mutual fund. The fund is managed by one of Fleet Investment Advisors Inc.'s institutional equity managers, Peter B. Hathaway. He uses a disciplined screen to select stocks from among 300 to 400 large-cap and midcap companies, representative of those in the S&P 500.
SEARCHES & HIRINGS
Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program, Madison, has narrowed a manager search for a diversified stable-value option for its $750 million fund, said Mary E. Willett, director-supplement retirement plans. It seeks to replace a straight GIC fund managed by Great West Life. The $130 million GIC fund seeks a variety of options, including synthetic GICs, to diversify the fund.
The field of 16 candidates has been narrowed to five, including Great West. Ms. Willett declined to name the other finalists.
The board could make a decision in May.
Nestle USA Inc., Glendale, Calif., hired Putnam Investments as a global balanced manager for its $800 million defined benefit plan. The new mandate is part of a manager consolidation that resulted in the termination of nine managers. Manfred Lehmann, vice president and treasurer, would not give the names of the firms dropped.
Putnam will manage $110 million. J.P. Morgan was retained to manage a global balanced portfolio of $150 million. J.P. Morgan formerly managed a little less than that in a U.S. stock portfolio and a U.S. bond portfolio.
Frank Russell assisted.
Colorado Fire & Police Pension Association, Englewood, committed $10 million to the Apollo Real Estate Investment Fund III.
The funding will come from cash. Pacific Corporate Group assisted the $2.1 billion fund.
Methuen (Mass.) Contributory Retirement System has hired its first small-cap equity and real estate managers.
The system, with about $49 million in assets, hired Dreyfus to run $3 million in U.S. small-cap stocks, said Kevin Leonard, the Segal Advisors consultant who assisted. Real estate managers Sentinel and the RREEF Funds will manage $2 million each, he said.
Money will come from David L. Babson, which manages 93% of the system's assets in a balanced fund.